Grateful Dead Live at Avalon Ballroom on 1969-01-24
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- Grateful Dead
- DeadLists Project
Cryptical Envelopment > drums > The Other One > Cryptical Envelopment > space > New Potato Caboose, Dupree's Diamond Blues, Doin' That Rag
Dark Star, Lovelight > drums
Other artists on bill: Sons of Champlin, Initial Shock; setlist courtesy deadlists.com
Related Music question-dark
Versions - Different performances of the song by the same artist
Compilations - Other albums which feature this performance of the song
Covers - Performances of a song with the same name by different artists
|That's It For The Other One ->
|New Potato Caboose
|Dupree's Diamond Blues
|Doin' That Rag
|Turn On Your Lovelight ->
-- Really bad mix problems in the beginning of the show
-- Beginning of Lovelight is cut
-- Thanks to Rob Eaton for lending me his Dats
- 2010-10-15 01:02:20
- Dat (Sony R500) -> Sound Devices 744T -> Samplitude Professional v11.03 -> FLAC
- San Francisco, CA
- Run time
- Transferred by
- Charlie Miller
- Avalon Ballroom
Subject: A brief but fascinating time capsule.
In the cases of That’s It For the Other One, New Potato Caboose, and Doin’ That Rag, for me the highlights aren’t so much the songs as they are the incredible instrumental jams that bust out once the last verses are delivered. Phil Lesh and the rhythm devils are all over this show, while Bob and TC are a little more subdued, opting to pick their spots and really make them count. Garcia is a Gibson god. At this stage he could really manipulate the instrument to give it those yawning groans and murky, otherworldly howls in between sharp, silver, reflective runs. Dark Star is a case in point, demonstrating what a psychedelic juggernaut this group had turned into. They pop open a window to space, and let a lysergic ocean of music flow into the room. The lyrics are delivered with intoxicating depth and perfection. Even the stage banter leading into the song is trippy, with Bobby’s words echoing and melting around the microphone: “Hey Bear, you ought to score or grab the equalizer for tomorrow night; I just had that thought.”
The Drums segment has plenty of audience participation. Some freak is so out of his gourd, he’s been reduced to mushing together sounds to try and form actual words, but all he can articulate is the occasional “GRATEFUL DEAD!” or “HELLS ANGELS!”
By January 1969, they were right in the thick of it, and there was no mistaking that the words Grateful Dead didn’t just refer to a group of musicians. They referred to a unique thing, a living being, a muse, which, with the right amplification, could spill out of a concert stage and splash an attendee’s consciousness into a shape-shifting, face-stealing serpentine watercolor collage of sound and sight.
Subject: Just another night at the Avalon Ballroom...yeah right.
At the 5:33 mark the band is really digging down deep and are in full synchronous mode, bringing all the intensity that is typical for “Other Ones” of this era, which mean in it is raging! Tom Constanten is part of the “San Francisco’s own Seven Samurai”, as Bill Graham would christen them in May of this year and is nicely placed in the mix. They perform a strong return to “Cryptical” and jam for another 3 minutes before ending the song completely, albeit for a few notes before Bob joyously starts the chords to “New Potato Caboose”. The vocals are still undermixed at this point but are clear and very natural sounding, Phil, when he had that sweet sounding upper register, and Jerry harmonies are louder than Bobby’s lead vocals. Who can ever forget this final verse,
“The eyes are blind
Blue visions are all a seer can own
And touching makes the flesh to cry out loud
This ground on which the seed of love is sown
All graceful instruments are known”?
Phil leads a crazy bass lead solo out of the final verse that goes on for a good couple minutes. At the 5:40 mark the band tries to get onboard of what Phill is clearly leading. Jerry is not in the mix so maybe he was having technical problems and Phil swoops in to safe the day. Then Jerry re-appears at the 7:00 minute mark but the intensity is lost that Phil was fueling and the tempo slows down as Jerry slowly begins to improvise and this develops into a nice peak at about the 9-minute mark, and they return to the main them of the song just after the 11:00 mark. They completely stop and Jerry immediate goes into “Dupree’s Diamond Blues” and it is fully electric and a more rollicking rendition, like versions in the early 1980’s would be played. Pig Pen even plays some harmonica on it, which I cannot ever recall hearing in this song before. The vocals are finally nicely mixed in by this part of the show too.
They next end this short first set with another Jerry rarity and 1969 classic “Doin’ That Rag”. This is a great version with Jerry handing the lyrical absurdities of Hunter quite nicely. Tom’s merry go around sounding keyboards is a perfect complement to this great tune. After the final verse they start to ramp up the jamming, with Phil really helping compliment Jerry quite nicely. This set was sort of an opposite as they started off explosively musically and end it on more modest song driven note, which is not a bad idea, although the final bars are sort of messed up and they do not add that final vocal harmony part to end it.
Set II starts exactly as the first set did, but the band is noticeably much tighter as you can hear Jerry clearly states, “Let’s do it!” before they launch into nearly 20 minutes textbook perfect reading of “Dark Star.” As was the “business as usual”, and the results of extensive rehearsing during this period, “Dark Star” is a much more driven and focused piece of music than it would become in a couple years. The theme is explored but you do not get too far away from it. The duet between Phil and Jerry is what makes these versions so remarkable, and virtually no drumming either, just Micky playing the maracas and Tom’s delicate nuanced playing. Jerry sings the first verse ta the 7:00 mark and then they start to push the boundaries of the song shorty after this, and as they return to the main theme it becomes complete heaven and the band is loud too. The way Jerry and the band transitions into the second verse is simply stunning and a psychedelic celebration, it is note for note perfection too, although Jerry starts the verse but misses his cues and stop singing then reattempts again quietly nicely. The final verse is perfect with Bobby and Phil adding those harmonies.
They next enter that transition zone in which anything can happen…and the band completely stops. Nicely done guys. “Bobby then says we are going to sing the broken string blues”. The tape then picks up after “Lovelight” has already started and Pig Pen has sung the first couple verses, as he is already at the chorus. Pig’s vocals are a little down mixed, but this is the first song he sang the entire night so far. During the solo during the bridge Pig is clearly singing “yeaaaah” over and over and I think Bobby even chimes in on it as well. Very unusual but it works.
At the 5:30 minute mark Pig reappears and is strong and full of conviction as he throws it down and then he begins his vocal jam at the 6:40 mark with the boys backing him up big time. This version is more about the song, and the celebration, rather than Pig entirely stealing the show as it is extraordinarily strong ensemble effort and Billy and Mickey are quite exceptional on it as well.
They end the song rather abruptly with the PA I think malfunctioning and the audience is clapping riotously but Pig Pen is still out there trying to keep it going. Then you get into five minutes of drumming and more feverous hand clapping but no more music but Pig Pen is still adding some “yeahs” but someone else is on stage saying some stuff at the very end. Mainly “Grateful Dead” Maybe an audience member? Regardless it is a crazy end to a well-played night of music at the Avalon…well it was 1969 after all folks.
I give the show a 5 for the " Dark Star" it's that good.
Subject: Phil Solo
As ever Phil's musicality helps the part within New Potato rise above mere bass solo! Obviously, it is easily referred to as that. Now I have to dive in and listen more carefully! but that was my first thought on the subject!
Subject: As If
Subject: Phil's solo
There are some real problems with the beginning of The Other One, which is noted in the notes, but once that's sorted out, this is a really nice show. The setlists for these 69 shows are so similar, that for me, it's about particular moments and this show has a really special Phil moment.
Subject: That's it for the Other One
Subject: Very good show,
Subject: New potato solo
But is this the entire show?